The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions
The New Pornographers are back with Whiteout Conditions, their seventh album, and the follow up to 2014's brilliant Brill Bruisers. The Canadians have made a name for themselves for constantly producing some of the greatest indie-pop singles of the past two decades and are one of the only pop bands that will make the playlists of the archetypal muso. Though without the involvement singer-songwriter Dan Bejar can they continue to repeat their previous successes?
White Conditions certainly brings the sun; it sparkles with sweet synth lines and vocal melodies that are perfect for for a hot summer day, or even a quick trip to get a new fuse for the kettle. AC Newman's songs are always in very capable hands and having a genuine star in her own right with Neko Case as co-vocalist is going to help. The New Pornographers have always had a knack for creating perfect indie-disco bait, but they usually to-and-fro between the upbeat and the melancholy. With this record, and their last, they certainly have their sights sets on a celebratory sound, though they avoid cliches of writing about rainbows and sunshine days, Newman writes about moving on, anxieties, pop-culture and obviously post drug trauma like on the glorious title track. Elsewhere 'High Ticket Attraction' and 'Clockwise' are the sort of perfect new-wave tracks that The Dandy Warhols used to produce before they got sucked into stoner-rock.
White Conditions is The New Pornographers most electronic record for some time. It's very immediate and will be perfect for the fickle Spotify generation; you can easily be sucked into a song within the first 30 seconds. Though this shouldn't be a throw-away pop record as there is enough talent bubbling away below the surface to allow for repeat interest. How they have yet to become bigger attraction is a surprise, but this is an album for people who find pop the dirtiest word in music.